After 45 years of being a John Deere dealership, Glenmac Sales and Service will no longer be selling and servicing the familiar Green and Yellow John Deere tractors and mowers.
After 20 years of being a fixture of Pakenham, Mike and Hermine Toth have decided to sell the business.
At 82 years of age, Mike has decided that he and Hermine, aged 80, have earned the right to let the pressures of running a business be handed over to another established name in the John Deere world, Cervus Equipment.
Mike started operating as a John Deere dealer in 1976, out of a bay in a service station in East Burwood.
That year they sold one tractor.
They shifted to a bigger premises in Ferntree Gully a couple of years later, but Hermine decided that if Glenmac were to be major players in the Agricultural sector, they needed to focus, and that meant a dedicated workshop, showroom and spare parts areas.
So in 1979, they commenced building at 14 Rushdale Street, Knoxfield.
The business started growing and as John Deere moved into new ranges of products including ride on mowers, commercial mowing, golf maintenance and Gators, space was at a premium again.
A new bay and upstairs office space bought a little more time, but again Hermine thought that they should keep ahead of the urban sprawl and they bought two acres of land in, what was then, rural Pakenham.
In 1990, Mike and Hermine’s son and daughter Tony and Diana came into the family business, in order to keep growing the business.
Those were good and satisfying days, demand for the John Deere product was growing strongly and they were selling machinery across Victoria and into New South Wales.
The company built many strong relationships and friendships that continue today.
In 1999, it was decided that it was time to develop the land in Pakenham and Glenmac were back in the construction game.
Mike played a large part in watching over the project and Hermine kept a watch over him and the development to make sure that the building was built in the way that she pictured it in her mind.
It was decided that golf equipment, council tractors and commercial mowers would be handled out of Knox and agriculture machinery was to be sold and serviced out of the Pakenham branch.
The Lilydale outlet was later setup to service the Yarra Ranges market.
Pakenham was opened in May 2000 and was an immediate success.
Pakenham embraced Glenmac and they, in turn, welcomed the locals from Pakenham and surrounds.
Over the years many friends have dropped in for a cappuccino or a cuppa and those in the know will “happen to arrive” at the right time, to enjoy a freshly prepared lunch with the family.
Mike and Hermine are old school business people, and realise that putting the customers first is how to cultivate both business and lasting friendships and over the years, this has become second nature.
Maybe it is their European upbringing and the way that Australia has accepted them that makes them want to give back to society, or maybe that both the Hungarians and Germans just don’t know the meaning of the word “no” …or maybe that the power of two individuals working together is so much more powerful than two people with differing goals and outlooks – but together Mike and Hermine have made a difference to all those who have met them.
There are so many other individuals who have contributed to the lasting success of Glenmac, too many to name individually, but they know who they are and Mike and Hermine acknowledge their roles and importance as well.
Mike and Hermine would also like to thank you, their customers and friends, who, without your support and custom over the years, would never have envisioned their lives being so rich and satisfying.
They have gone beyond building a business and have, in fact, created and embraced a strong community.
We wish Mike and Hermine all the best for their retirement and thank them for their hard work and for what they have done for the John Deere name since Mike started working for John Deere in 1960.
We also wish Cervus Equipment success in taking over Glenmac and that they can continue to grow in the years to come.